Hilton gets on the right Paige

Nov 21, 2005 3:17 AM

The wonderful Paige O’Hara — Belle in Disney’s "Beauty & The Beast" — and also my dear friend, will be starring in the wonderful little production, "Menopause, The Musical," opening Feb. 1 in the Las Vegas Hilton’s Shimmer Theatre.

Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, writer/producer Jeanie Linders created the show as a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived "The Change."

In checking the Hilton’s web site show times, I discovered that Delisco, currently appearing in the 7 p.m. slot in the Shimmer, isn’t even listed. Does that mean he’s gone without any type of notice? It wouldn’t be unusual in this town!

Anyway, "Menopause" will be offered at 7 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Saturday with additional performances on Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. It’s a unique schedule, almost all afternoon, but not quite. It’s cute enough to work and isn’t nearly as sophisticated as "Avenue Q."

When contracts come up for renewal, cast changes are not unusual for "Mamma Mia!" But super-sleuth columnist that I am, I’ve learned that a New York-initiated across-the-board pay cuts for the main performers have many of them leaving Feb. 1.

The main performers will all be replaced by unknowns. Included is Michael Pionteck, who happens to be Paige O’Hara’s husband. Michael, I’m told, is up to play the Phantom when the production opens at The Venetian in May. That’s another scoop!

Talking about theatre here, "Avenue Q" is picking up steam. It helps that the balcony is open! The strategy of cutting down a few shows has helped fill the theater. The producers of "Avenue Q" have brought in big guns from New York to do their marketing. This could be just what the show needs — a new marketing strategy.

I hate to be redundant (unless I’m poignant), but Las Vegas is not New York. Our culture is different, our styles keep changing. We are a transient city. Tourists come here with a different agenda.

Also, at the Wynn, "Le Reve" has improved immensely. One has to marvel at a show that is a work in progress.

"Love is a Pain," a new musical comedy, opens Dec. 26 at the Riviera’s La Cage Theatre. The production is an irreverent musical farce poking fun at the life of a divorced couple as they continue to live under the same roof.

"Love is a Pain" will be directed by Raymond Homer who has produced and/or directed more than 45 movies starring major actors including Orson Wells, Yul Brenner, Anthony Quinn, Ray Milland and Rod Steiger. Shel Shine, a popular actress from China, wrote "Love is a Pain" and will perform the role of Fortune Cookie in the production.

Tony Sacca’s 20th annual "Merry Christmas Las Vegas" benefit production is scheduled Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Stratosphere. This year’s event will help offset the cost of the Helen Joy’s Young Entertainers representing Las Vegas along with Sacca in a performance at Disneyland Dec. 19. Scheduled to appear Dec. 4 are Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton, Bill Acosta, magician Curtis Adams and others. Doors open at 1 p.m. with a $25 donation per person requested.

Though he sold the Plaza, Gold Spike, Las Vegas Club and Western Hotel to the Tamares Group, David Barrick still holds court at the Plaza meeting and greeting people. Word on the street is that the Tamares Group is very willing to sell the properties "at the right price," and that there are "four major players" bidding for it. Barrick laughed when asked about pending offers and only said that he just "had to get away from Tamares." By the way, Barrick is breaking ground on the first of three Indian casinos he’ll be operating in Oklahoma this month.

My favorite hangout in New York during the disco era was Studio 54. Now its alter ego in Las Vegas will celebrate its eighth anniversary with several distinct changes for the new year. The two-phase renovation will blend Studio 54’s classic industrial charm with elements of modern sophistication, including a stunning entry and a lavish VIP lounge. Located inside the MGM Grand, the doors of the legendary Studio 54 open nightly at 10:10.

My friend, Ira David Sternberg, the head PR honco of the Las Vegas Hilton, is doing great with his radio show from the Hilton. You can catch him every Monday at noon on AM-720.

Check out the Gold Coast as "Forever Plaid" has become "Plaid Tidings" for the holiday seasons. I saw a preview and it is simple marvelous!

Thanksgiving is this week. Let’s give a little bit to those people who are less fortunate.